Red Band Society follows the lives of teenagers living in the pediatric ward of Los Angeles’ Ocean Park Hospital as well as the people that work there. The show premiered in September on Fox and is now facing reports that it has been canceled. The network ordered 13 episodes of the series and is planning to pull the show from the schedule after only 10. There are no plans to air the final three episodes. Fans of the show have recently set up an online petition through Change.org, which has received over 14,000 signatures.
Red Band Society‘s dominant female figure is Nurse Jackie, played by Octavia Spencer. It’s at least the fourth time Spencer has played the role of a nurse in a show. Her character was also a nurse on at least one episode each of Chicago Hope, Roswell and The X-Files. Spencer’s most notable role came as Minny Jackson in The Help. She won a host of awards for her supporting actress performance, including from the Golden Globes and Academy Awards. Octavia also won several awards for her supporting actress role in Fruitvale Station.
Spencer is joined on the adult figure side by Rebecca Rittenhouse and Wilson Cruz, who both play nurses as well. Dave Annable plays Dr. Jack McAndrew. Fans of Brothers & Sisters will remember him as Justin Walker.
The pack of teen patients is led be Charlie Rowe, whose Leo Roth character had a promising prep soccer career before being diagnosed with cancer. Leo’s love interest, Emma, is played by Ciara Bravo. Emma is being treated for an eating disorder. The 17-year-old Bravo’s previous major role was on Big Time Rush, which ran from 2009-2013 on Nickelodeon. Emma is also being perused by Jordi (Nolan Sotillo), who came to Ocean Park via Mexico to seek more traditional medical treatment than his family thought necessary. Dash and Kara round out the main pack of teens. Kara is the former cheerleader whose party-girl lifestyle causes her to need a new heart. She’s the former “Queen Bee” that hasn’t exactly been brought all the way back to earth yet. Dash tries to be the glue that holds the “Red Band Society” together. He’s in for dealing with cystic fibrosis.
A patient named Charlie narrates Red Band Society. He in a coma that is not explained at first but the cause slowly comes out throughout the series.
Red Band Society has garnered good reviews from regular viewers and critics alike. The show currently had a rating of 8.2/10 from 4,520 users on IMDb. The show was pulled for Fox’s schedule after only airing 10 of the 13 ordered episodes. In the first week of December, when the last-scheduled episode of Red Band Society aired, the show ranked 14th overall on network television in TvbytheNumbers 2nd Screen Engagement Report. Fox had just ordered more scripts of Red Band back in October, which was puzzling to many considering the show had failed to attract much more than 3 million viewers for an episode. The show’s stars, including Dave Annable, have been vocal about how much they love the show and want to see it stay around.
Fox taking Red Band off their schedule doesn’t necessarily mean the show deserves to be off the schedule. Fox executives have a history of making dumb decisions. Their most-costly recent blunder was definitely Utopia. The reality show cost at least $50 million and was canceled after two months of the planned year-long run.
Watch all ten episodes of Red Band Society on Hulu and decide for yourself if you think it deserves a spot on the televisions schedule. If you think it does, sign the Change.org petition and join the close-to-15,000 others voicing your opinion to Fox. You can also make your voice heard on Twitter by using the hashtag #SaveRedBandSociety.